14 Top-Rated Attractions and Places to Visit in Finland
From the vibrant art-filled cities of Helsinki and also Turku to the depths of the boreal forests and the thinly-inhabited external archipelago, Finland remains a reasonably unknown corner of Europe. This is most likely since it is up until now from the mainstream tourist paths, yet the country's many social and historical attractions contribute to the pristine natural surroundings to make it an ideal destination. Its lakes, fells, rivers, as well as huge wild areas, along with the certainty of snow in the winter make it a Nordic play area for both winter and summertime activities.
Helsinki is the main point of entry for the majority of visitors to Finland. The hectic Baltic port is where you'll discover the most crucial museums, along with style by several of the best Finnish designers, specifically Eliel Saarinen, who made Helsinki's Railway Station, a site of early modern-day architecture. Within very easy reach of Helsinki are the enchanting smaller cities of Turku and Porvoo. Yet it would be a shame to restrict a trip only to the Baltic coast when so much gorgeous open countryside beckons. To the west exist the Finnish lakes, and in the north is the large area beyond the Arctic Circle, house of the midnight sunlight, north lights, as well as some of Europe's finest winter sporting activities. Winter or summer, Finland offers a lot of points to see and also do.
Plan your trip with our list of the top attractions as well as places to visit in Finland.
1. Suomenlinna Fortress
The impressive strongholds, now a UNESCO World Heritage The site, were constructed in 1847 by the Swedes (Finland was Swedish territory after that) to scare off the Russians; they weren't terrified as well as later captured both theft and also Finland. Begin with the audio-visual experience in the site visitor center (it's in English) for a dynamic history, after that discover its ramparts, tunnels, and also museums and also stroll the routes around the stunning island. The Ehrensvärd Museum highlights the earliest Swedish duration, and also the Doll and also Plaything Museum displays dolls, doll-houses, as well as playthings in an old Russian vacation home.
2. Kauppatori (Market Square) and also Esplanadi
Helsinki's harbor is an indispensable component of the city, whose important spots overlook it. The historic 1889 market hall shelters extra food vendors, however, the outside market is a year-round practice, shielded by tarpaulins as well as camping tents in the winter.
Stretching from one side of the marketplace Square, the open swath of the Esplanadi is where the whole city seems to gather on summer season evenings. The tree-lined promenade is bordered by sophisticated buildings and also a pavilion houses the Kappeli Restaurant, whose terrace is especially prominent on summer evenings when there are performances in the kiosk. A water fountain, an additional work by Eliel Saarinen, sustains a sculpture of Havis Amanda, Helsinki's icon. In December, the whole Esplanadi is loaded with booths marketing lovely regional crafts and vacation foods. Helsinki's most unusual museum, the Street Museum, climbs from market Square to Senate Square, a one-block development from the early 1800s to the 1930s, with leading surface areas, street lights, mailboxes, and also phone booths changing with each age.
3. Rovaniemi and also the Arctic
The Arctic Circle runs throughout northern Finland, right with the town of Rovaniemi, giving it case to being the Portal to the Arctic. The city is best recognized (ask any Finnish youngster) as the home of Santa Claus, appropriate astride the Arctic Circle at Santa Claus Village. To learn more about the Lapland society and concerning the natural background, weather forecasting as well as the geology of the Arctic, visit the spectacular Arktikum Scientific research Museum.
In the winter, this region is a heaven for skiers as well as others that enjoy the snow and also ice sports. You can ride throughout frozen lakes and visit Sami towns on a dogsled safari, discover to drive your own reindeer sled, snowshoe or cross-country ski for miles, and also enjoy the magnificent Northern Lights. Downhill skiers head concerning 170 kilometers north to Levi, a facility for all winter entertainment, with miles of scenic Nordic ski trails, lighted for night skiing. So are the pistes and slopes of Finland's biggest downhill ski area. Many resorts have rooms with glass ceilings, so you can see the North Lights from inside.
4. Helsinki Churches
Three of the top places to visit in Helsinki are churches, two of the cathedrals as well as the third a landmark of contemporary design. On the hillside straight behind the harbor and just as noticeable spots to those approaching Helsinki by sea, the substantial Neoclassical Lutheran Sanctuary is so close and also so huge that it appears to be standing on the roofs of the harbor-front buildings. The structures facing the square total an unified enclosure, one of Europe's most attractive public squares.
While these two cathedrals are strongly in the customs of their denomination, Temppeliaukio Church is a building experiment, sculpted right into solid rock in a fairly tiny room in the facility of the city. Architects Timo and also Tuomo Suomalainen developed the church, covering it with a rounded, woven copper roofing supported by concrete spokes. The acoustics created by the mix of copper and also rock is exceptional, making this a preferred location for music shows of all designs.
5. Åland Island chain
The Åland Islands (or Åland) are a self-governing island the chain between Sweden as well as Finland. A mostly Swedish-speaking district of Finland, Åland is comprised of a couple of large islands and also nearly 10,000 smaller sized ones. The primary industry of the islands has actually constantly been shipping and profession, so the Maritime Museum, the Museum Ship Pommern, as well as the Maritime Quarter in Mariehamn is worth seeing to recognize the islands' remarkable naval history.
Worth a visit is the Jan Karlsgården outdoor museum in Kastelholm, where you can see what a regular island ranch looked like around 1890. The wonderful landscapes and seascapes make it a preferred with musicians, and their workshops, as well as galleries, are preferred with tourists, who show up by boat from Turku as well as Stockholm.
6. Northern Lights
For most people, seeing the Northern Lights is a unique treat. Finland is maybe the top country worldwide for seeing these blazing curtains of light drape across the skies. At times, the lights can be seen even in the southernmost regions of the country, the finest location to see them is in the region close to or north of the Arctic Circle. Below, in between September as well as March, visitors have almost assured a program if the sky is clear. A variety of hotels in the north cater especially to individuals wishing to see the lights. The Finnish Meteorological Institute allows you to sign up for free Northern Lights email signals.
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The southwestern Finnish town of Turku, the country's earliest town and also till 1812 it's funding, lies on the Gulf of Bothnia, at the mouth of the Aurajoki River. Turku hinges on the area where the successors to the Swedish Vikings landed in the 12th century as well as laid out to conquer what is currently Finland. With 8 centuries of background, it is today the most standard middle ages community in Finland, yet along with its outstanding middle ages buildings, you'll locate examples of Art Nouveau and also modern-day style, such as the Sibelius Museum, by Woldemar Boeckman. The river is a prime focus for the city, lined with historical watercraft, some of which have been exchanged dining establishments. In the summer, citizens collect along with its financial institutions in the evening as well as in the winter, it becomes a gigantic skating rink. On the northeast side of the river is the commercial center with the Kaupatori (market square) shopping center and charming Orthodox Church. On the contrary bank the medieval basilica, consecrated in 1290, rises above the Old Great Square. It is a large block church in Late Romanesque design with Gothic and also Renaissance additions and a massive 97-meter-high tower, which controls the city. Throughout the midsummer Middle ages Event, the old square's set of historic structures reclaims its middle ages air with craft stalls and also food vendors.
It was bigger in the 16th to 17th century and currently houses the Turku Historical Museum. For an appearance at what Turku looked like in the early 1800s, stroll with the roads of the Luostarinmäki Handicrafts The museum, a whole community of 40 houses, the only ones saved in the fire that destroyed Turku in 1827. Protected as a museum town, its homes as well as workshops now house craftsmen that demonstrate duration crafts.
Between the river and the hilltop cathedral is the Market Square with two galleries worth visiting. One has exhibits on neighborhood history and also the various other, the Edelfelt-Vallgren Museum, is of particular passion to those interested by the Art Nouveau movement. In the summertime, you can visit Porvoo from Helsinki by boat.
9. Lake Saimaa and Savonlinna
The whole eastern part of Finland is an extra sea than land. With literally tens of thousands of lakes, rivers, marshes, and also ponds, eastern Finland is a remarkable marine playground. The entire lake system is drained by the river Vuoksi, which leaves Lake Saimaa to the north of the town of Imatra as well as streams right into Lake Ladoga in Russia.
Savonlinna is the major city of Finland's lake region. In the Great Stronghold is a summer coffee shop.
A must-do when in the lake area is the boat cruises. From Savonlinna, there are watercraft trips to the other towns on Lake Saimaa, to Punkaharju, with the Retreat Art Facility, the largest in the Nordic nations, to the monasteries of Uusi Valamo as well as Lintula.
Developed in the 1300s, Vaasa was an important community in the time that Sweden ruled Finland. The ruins of the old city are now a giant park (Vanha Vaasa, Gamla Vasa). Bordered by a vast array of cafés, dining establishments, as well as shops, the large market area is the facility of city life.
Various other attractions include the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, down at the harbor, the Ostrobothnian Museum, the Terranova Kvarken Nature Center, the Tikanoja Art Museum, as well as the Vaasa Maritime Museum. Simply to the east of the city facility, on an island, is Tropiclandia and exotic spa, a waterpark inside a warmed dome packed with swimming pools, slides, as well as saunas. Vaasa asserts to be the sunniest community in all of Finland so soaks up some rays on one of the several beaches.
Founded in 1779 as a commercial settlement, Tampere is Finland's third-biggest town, but does not feel like a big city facility. It exists between two lakes: Näsijärvi, to the north, and Pyhäjärvi, to the south, which is connected by the Tammerkoski, a stretch of rapids nearly a kilometer long. Along with its industry, Tampere is understood for its active cultural life with an open-air theater and frequent festivals. These include the November Tampere Jazz Taking place, a custom currently for greater than 35 years, when world-renowned names in jazz execute throughout the city in little concert locations as well as clubs. In the Vapriikki Museum, you'll locate the Natural Background Museum and various other exhibitions. 3 churches are of note: Tampere Sanctuary is understood for its uncommon paintings and frescoes illustrating skeletal systems in black hooded capes, created in the very early The 1900s by Finnish symbolist painter Hugo Simberg. The Kaleva Church, a rising concrete structure built in the 1960s has a floor plan in the form of a fish, an old Christian symbol. The green-domed brick Orthodox Church of Saint Alexander Nevsky as well as Saint Nicholas has actually a sumptuously decorated interior.
12. Lemmenjoki National Forest
Any person seeking an Arctic wilderness experience will certainly love Lemmenjoki National forest. The system of boreal woodland is the largest park in Finland and among the most comprehensive chunks of wildlands in all of Europe, covering greater than 2,589 square kilometers. For the traveler, there are numerous kilometers of marked routes, in addition to cost-free as well as open wilderness huts as well as extra sophisticated rental huts with sauna as well as campfire places. The name of the park, the Lemmenjoki River, is a sight to witness as it streams down from the fells into a sensational valley of looming pines. Visitors can either rent a watercraft or take a scenic tour. This is the place to locate the brown bears, wolves, as well as wild gold eagles, as well as moose and also reindeer.
Sweet little Oulu lies near the north end of the Gulf of Bothnia, at the mouth of the Oulujoki river. It began as a town gathered around the late 16th-century castle constructed by King John III of Sweden on the island of Linnansaari at the mouth of the Oulujoki.
At the north end of the busy Kirkkokatu stands the sanctuary, initially integrated in 1770-72. Beyond, at the north end of Kirkkokatu, a little bridge introduces the gorgeous island of Ainola, where you'll locate a park and also the Provincial Museum. Further north is the Botanic Garden, as well as on the island of Hupisaari, a summer theater. One more popular tourist attraction is the Tietomaa Science Center to the east of the Oulu Botanic Garden. In the summer, invest the time at the marketplace Square over coffee as well as traditional Finnish pastries. A few kilometers up the Oulujoki is the island of Turkansaari, once the home of Russian investors in the city, and currently an open-air museum.
Like lots of Finnish towns, Hämeenlinna started near a castle, in this case, the 13th-century Tavastehus Castle. Its distinct red-brick strongholds top the list of places to see in Hameenlinna. The various other places you should not miss seeing is Aulanko Nature Book. Component yard park, component woodland get, it is the first National Urban Park in Finland. The English-style park was constructed in between 1883 and also 1938, and also in addition to treking its well-kept routes among exotic as well as indigenous trees, you can climb up the 30-meter-tall granite tower on Aulangonvuori Hillside for sights throughout a normal Finnish forest and lake landscape. More than 50 various varieties of trees and hedges are determined along the nature path around Lake Joutsenlampi. 2 historical structures and the ruins of a late The 19th-century castle is also in the park.
Hämeenlinna was the birthplace of the Finnish author Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), as well as north of the marketplace Square, is the Sibelius Museum; a bit further on is the Sibelius Park and also the neighboring Hämeenlinna Historical Museum.
The Ehrensvärd Museum highlights the earliest Swedish period, and also the Doll and Toy Museum displays dolls, doll-houses, and toys in an old Russian vacation home. Helsinki's most uncommon museum, the Road The museum, climbs from market Square to Us senate Square, a one-block progression from the very early 1800s to the 1930s, with paving surface areas, street lights, mailboxes, and also phone cubicles changing with each age.
The main sector of the islands has always been delivering and trade, so the Maritime Museum, the Museum Ship Pommern, and also the Maritime Quarter in Mariehamn is worth seeing to understand the islands' interesting naval history.
Other attractions consist of the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, down at the harbor, the Ostrobothnian Museum, the Terranova Kvarken Nature Center, the Tikanoja Art Museum, as well as the Vaasa Maritime Museum. In the Vapriikki Museum, you'll discover the Natural Background Museum as well as other events.